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Raleigh, NC (February 27, 2017) – Two organizations in Wake County were awarded Smiles for Kids grants from the Delta Dental Foundation. The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education received a $1,000 grant and the Wake County Department of Human Services received a $2,500 grant to provide oral health education and treatment to underserved children, respectively.

The grant presented to the Poe Center will be used to deliver oral health programming to underserved children from pre-K through second grade in Jones County, where nearly one in three children entering kindergarten have untreated tooth decay. The program will benefit up to 200 children and focus on the essential knowledge needed to care for their teeth and gums properly.
“The Poe Center board and staff greatly appreciate our partnership with the Delta Dental Foundation,” said Executive Director Ann Rollins. “This Smiles for Kids grant will help us support rural areas that have higher needs and fewer resources when it comes to oral health.”
The grant presented to the Wake County Department of Human Services will provide dental sealants for uninsured and underinsured children from low-income households. Sealants are an effective way of preventing future expenses that may come from necessary restorations.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after sealants are applied, they protect against 80 percent of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50 percent of cavities for up to four years.
"We are excited to receive a Delta Dental Foundation Smiles for Kids grant for the fourth consecutive year,” said Dr. Rebecca Sykes, interim dental director at Wake County Human Services. “In 2016, this grant provided more than 250 sealants to over 75 Wake County children. 70 percent of those children had no form of dental insurance and may not have otherwise received the service. We look forward to providing this important service once again this year.”

The Delta Dental Foundation focuses on ensuring that children and adults in North Carolina receive high-quality oral health education and dental care. The grants received by the Poe Center for Health Education and the Wake County Department of Human Services are two of 21 grants totaling $45,000 that DDF is donating to North Carolina oral health organizations and programs. Grant recipients were selected based on criteria that included the number of at-risk children served, the uniqueness of the program, the level of community involvement in the program and the ability to measure results.
“The Delta Dental Foundation is committed to promoting good oral health habits and providing better access to quality dental care for those who are underserved in our state,” said Curt Ladig, president and CEO of Delta Dental of North Carolina. “By providing support to these Wake County organizations for the important work that they do, we hope to benefit the oral health and quality of life of these children.”
About Delta Dental of North Carolina
Delta Dental of North Carolina is a nonprofit dental service corporation created in 1970 to provide dental benefits throughout the state. Its mission is to improve the oral health of the communities it serves. It does so by providing affordable access to oral health care with the largest network of providers, including two out of every three dentists, in North Carolina.
About the Delta Dental Foundation
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. The foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science, and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit
About The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education
The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and empowering North Carolina’s children, youth and their families to make choices that increase positive health behaviors. Since establishing its Raleigh facility in 1991, the Poe Center has provided health education to over one million children in 87 of the 100 counties in North Carolina for 25 years. By engaging in fun, highly interactive lessons, preschoolers through twelfth graders receive information that follows the NC DPI Healthful Living Essential Standards on a variety of health topics, including nutrition, dental health, general health, family life and drug prevention. For additional information about the Poe Center, please visit
About The Wake County Department of Human Services
Wake County's public health clinics offer health care for children and adults, ranging from treatment to education. The dental clinic offers preventive and treatment dental services for children from birth through age 20. Wake County's services include exams, cleanings, fluorides, sealants, restorations, extractions, space maintenance, and dental health education. For more information, visit

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